After the kidnapping drama involving the parents of Liverpool striker Luis Diaz, there is hope in Colombia that the ELN will release Luis Diaz’s father. The mother had previously been freed
The kidnapping drama surrounding the parents of Colombian striker Luis Diaz of Liverpool FC could soon come to an end. As Colombia’s Interior Minister Luis Fernando Velasco announced following negotiations with the guerrilla group ELN, Luis Diaz’s father is to be “released in the near future”. For the handover, “a safe area should be agreed”, Velasco continued.
Parents kidnapped by left-wing guerrilla group
The Colombian international’s parents, Luis Manuel Diaz and Cilenis Marulanda, were kidnapped by the ELN in their home town of Barrancas last weekend. The mother was freed by the police on the same day, while the father remained in the hands of the guerrilla group.
The left-wing group Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (National Liberation Army), which is said to have around 2,500 members, has been fighting against the state since 1964 and has been causing terror in Colombia for decades with kidnappings and attacks. The group gained notoriety in Germany in 2003 when the ELN kidnapped German tourist Reinhilt Weigel and only released her after 74 days
Infantino sends “support and prayers “
The kidnapping of Luis Diaz’s parents has caused great concern in world soccer. Luis Diaz’s coach Jürgen Klopp expressed his dismay immediately after the kidnapping became known: “I’ve never experienced anything like this before. This is a new experience that I have never needed.” And FIFA President Gianni Infantino sent “support and prayers” to the international’s family.
Luis Diaz himself has not yet commented on the incidents. It is unclear whether the striker will return to the Reds’ squad for Sunday’s away game against promoted Luton Town.